GamesBill Willingham, creator of Fables, denounces that DC has not yet paid...

Bill Willingham, creator of Fables, denounces that DC has not yet paid him for licensing his work to Telltale for The Wolf Among Us

Bill Willingham, creator of the Fables comic series on which the video game The Wolf Among Us is based, has issued a statement announcing that he is transferring the intellectual property rights of his work to the public domain.

Willingham was the creator and writer of this series that began in 2002 about a group of story characters like Snow White or the Big Bad Wolf who must adapt to life in New York, hiding their abilities and appearances from the rest of the world.

Artists such as Mark Buckingham, Lan Medina and Steve Leialoha passed through Fables, although the original contract with the publisher Vertigo (a branch of DC Comics focused on comics with adult content, currently known as DC Black Label) only credits Willingham as the holder of the intellectual property of the work.

The letter includes the reasons for his decision: in the 20 years that have passed since he signed his contract with DC Comics, the relationship has worsened with the replacement of the managers with whom he worked with others who have tried to impose abusive conditions.

At 67 years old, he finds himself unable to start a costly legal battle against DC Comics, so he has decided to exercise his right as the sole owner of the IP and release it into the public domain so that anyone can create derivative works. He recognizes that copyright is a complex issue, but considers that as of today Fables is the property of everyone.

One of the examples he mentions of his clashes with DC Comics is associated with the world of video games: Willingham denounces that DC has not paid royalties for the license of his work to Telltale Games for the publication of the video game The Wolf Among Us and that he has not They have consulted him about the changes to the plot that the game introduces with respect to the comics.

The author claims that DC’s new executives believe they can do whatever they want with the property as part of their publishing deal, and therefore “have no obligation to protect the integrity and value of their own or anyone else’s IP.” third parties (Telltale Games, for example) who want to radically alter the characters, setting, story and plot premises (I have seen the script that they have tried to hide from me for a couple of years). [consideran que] “They owe me money for licensing the rights to Fables to third parties, since that license was not anticipated in our original publishing agreement.”

The line on the script seems to indicate that DC has tried to hide from Willingham the plot of The Wolf Among Us 2, a sequel in development by the new Telltale Games that was presented in 2019 and a few months ago was delayed to 2024.

They initially promised to pay him the money they owed him for licensing Fables to Telltale Games, but then tried to change the terms to consider it a “consulting fee” which would have prevented him from admitting that he was owed money and which included an NDA clause that he could not give opinions of Telltale or its license unless they were positive.

Despite having released his work into the public domain, Willingham assures that he will continue fighting for DC to pay him the money he believes is owed to him for Telltale games and other matters.

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